KAMPALA, MAY03 – Innovators and Entrepreneurs who can develop products or services that can help reduce the cost of transport and logistics in East Africa can compete for up to $1 million in funding under the just launched 2nd round of Logistics Innovation for Trade Challenge Fund (LIFT).
Ideas that can offer the best solution to East African’s high transport and freight costs and can make a real difference to the region’s trade and logistics efficiently in a timeline of 18 months will compete for a share of a total of $ 7.6 million in funding released in round two which opened in April and will run until August 2016.
Transport and freight costs in East Africa are some of the highest in the world and this erodes the competitiveness of goods exported by landlocked East African Countries such as Uganda where transport costs could go as high as 70 percent of the value of exports.
“The Challenge fund instrument fills a significant gap in the financial support needs of private businesses and the innovators that drive business activity to greater results and efficiencies. This is achieved while mitigating the risks of high turn projects that mainstream banking and financial institutions tend to avoid supporting due to the uncertainties of the business proposition or a bank’s own lack of experience in the sector,” David Mitchell the LIFT Fund Manager said.
Innovators can come up with ways to reduce investment risk in transformative technologies that will make doing business easier in the region and help goods from East Africa compete fairly with those from SADC and COMESA and the world over.
Allen Asiimwe the Country Director Uganda Trade Mark East Africa says if Ugandans participate and come up with innovative ways to cut down on the costs, it would ease the challenges clients experience in their day today business.